As a borderline psychotic football fan, this is an exciting time of the year for me. But the nostalgia and the yearning quickly turns into more impatience as I realize all over again that NFL pre-season football games are not all that fun to watch. They are often sloppy and by the middle of the second quarter all of the best players are on the sidelines telling Andrea Kramer, “We feel good about our team this year.” That being said, there are some games that peak my interest more so than the rest.
Sunday, August 5th – Cardinals at Saints: The talking heads are pretty split on whether or not the disaster that was the Saints offseason is going to leave them unfocused and confused, or if they are going to rally around it and continue on with their winning ways without missing a beat. The answer is probably, as it usually is, somewhere in the middle. I realize Drew Brees is like a second offensive coordinator, but the head coach downgrade has to have some effect. This isn’t like Peyton Manning losing a defensive minded head coach like Tony Dungy. I believe Sean Payton and Drew Brees are a coach/QB partnership unlike any other in the league and a good chunk of their success can be tied to each other. Just the same I doubt Drew is going to forget how to read defenses, and I have a hard time believing all of their talented skill position players are going to forget how to run routes. Regardless of how it turns out, this storyline will be fascinating all season and Sunday is our first chance to take a look. Also, the Cardinals have a QB controversy. You care about that, right?
Thursday, August 9th – Broncos at Bears: All eyes will be on one quarterback in this game. I am talking about, of course…CALEB HANIE’S DRAMATIC RETURN TO SOLDIER FIELD! But seriously if Roger Goodell could find a way to get a red jersey on Peyton Manning for this pre-season he certainly would. I don’t think we will see Manning for more than a series, but we’d all be lying if we said we weren’t interested to see that series. I mean, you’d be bummed out if you went to work the next day and someone was like, “Hey did you see dude’s head pop off? It was crazy!”
Friday, August 10th – Buccaneers at Dolphins: One of the only interesting things about pre-season football is QB controversies, and the Dolphins have that covered! With three quarterbacks (Matt Moore, David Garrard, and Ryan Tannehill) that could very well be taking the first snap on week one, Miami’s pre-season games promise to be more intriguing than most. In fact the Dolphins might be the only team in the NFL whose pre-season games I am more interested in than their regular season contests, because once the latter begins they are going to have a hard time scoring points. Combine that with the fact that the Dolphins have a stellar front seven, and they are probably going to play in their fair share of 16-10 “thrillers”. On the other side of the coin you have the Bucs. They are a young team with some new pieces, a new coach, and I don’t have the slightest clue how they are going to finish this year. They could get anywhere between first and last in their division and I don’t think I’d be at all surprised.
Here’s a game to avoid…
Friday, August 10th – Jets at Bengals: If only there was a way I could know more about how Tebow was doing in practice as personal punt protector! Oh wait, why don’t I just turn on the TV any time of day!?! Go fuck yourself, ESPN.
What week one pre-season games are you interested in? Let us know in the comments section.